You Should Spend the Rest of the Day at BeerParc
If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so every week our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” will post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap. Mamacita is taking this week off, so Clay has stepped up to the plate.
As you may have noticed by now, I’m an unapologetic booster of eating and drinking outdoors. That’s probably because I’m from Brooklyn, where backyards, gardens, patios and any patch of land big enough to fit two tables outside is enjoyed from the moment the mercury breaks 60 degrees. So, clearly, I was excited about BeerParc, the new beer garden in the back of FoodParc in the Eventi Hotel.
Given the soggy weather, its opening enjoyed much less fanfare than they’d hoped, I’m sure, but that doesn’t mean that some of us weren’t there right away to check it out. See what it’s all about after the jump.
First a word about the ordering process. Food and drink are handled through a ticket system that seems to confuse a lot of first time visitors and will only get worse the more crowded it gets.
If you plan on eating, your first stop should be to the booth on the end to buy some number of little paper tickets at $3 a piece. The food stations are small, with no cashier, so will only accept the tickets as payment. The system works pretty well, but I hope that once the place gets off the ground they have more people selling tickets. I’ve already seen the line get a little long.
Inside, the bar will accept both cash and tickets. But here’s a note – there’s no liquor here. I saw a distraught pair, tickets in hand who wanted a beer for him and a cocktail for her. Apparently, cocktails are only available at another bar upstairs, which doesn’t take tickets as payment. And you’re not allowed to take the beer from the garden up to that bar. Weak. The other bar is said to have a balcony that’s nice and worth a future investigation.
In any case, on to the beer. Five beers are available on tap, with two wheat beers, Radeberger pilsner, the apricot-flavored Magic Hat Number 9, and Brooklyn Lager representing the home team. With 12 taps on hand, I have to admit, I was surprised to have such a relatively small selection, but there isn’t really a bad one in the batch, so it’s better than a lot of places. These all cost two tickets, or $6 for those keeping track. That’s not exactly a bargain, but about the standard price at most bars in the area for a proper pint.
They also sell cans of Guinness, Bud, Heineken, Modelo Especial, PBR and Dale’s Pale Ale – for the same price(!) I’m not really sure in what world I’d drop $6 for a canned beer, but it certainly isn’t this one. Sorry.
Beer in hand, I headed back outside to sample some of the tasty wares I smelled grilling up when I bought my tickets. The Edi and the Wolf station serves two types of sausages and pretzels, all for 2 tickets each. The sizzling grill, right next to the ticket counter has to be designed to pull your tickets out of your hand as soon as you have them.
This is the Kasenkrainer. Stuffed with cheese and served on a bed of cabbage with horseradish mustard, it’s completely wonderful.
Just as the sizzling sausages drew me from the ticket counter to the Edi and the Wolf, the sight of this fried chicken from Soi 29 caught my eye and demanded that I have some.
Really, how could I pass this up? The coating is flaky and crunchy and the interior keeps tender and juicy. It’s not unlike one of the recipes at Hill Country Chicken, so if you don’t like that, you may not like this. Personally, I thought it was great, especially with the spicy fish sauce on the side.
Other food vendors include a Fatty Snack booth selling hot dogs ($6) and brisket sandwiches ($9) and Ed’s Raw Bar inside with offerings from Oysters ($6 for 3) to Lobster BLT rolls ($12).
It’s getting close to noon, so I’m hoping you’re packing up and getting ready to ditch work for the long weekend. If that’s you, I’d say head to BeerParc, get yourself some tickets and enjoy a beer and some snacks in the sun. Some of us have to stick around all day (thanks boss!), but we’re with you in spirit.
BeerParc, 851 6th Avenue, between 29th and 30th Streets. Enter through public space on cross streets.